Shifting Seasons + Gingerbread Honey Ghee
Winter arrives as the gentle inward turning. It is the spoke of the year where silence & slowness reign, the well earned time of rest & reflection. The trees bare their bark as the cycle of life nears an end under snow blanketed stillness. Our bodies, inseparable from nature, mirror these seasonal shifts in our own similar yet unique ways. As our energy wanes and we dial down from the expansive expression of summer & early autumn, we gather round the warmth of our homes & loved ones to ground in for winter. Each season offers different lessons & energies- “guidelines” if you will- for ways to live our lives. Nature has always been our best teacher, and learning (or really remembering) to live harmoniously with the seasons helps us maintain balance & wellbeing.
Winter In Ayurveda
Ayurveda provides a simple yet powerful understanding of how to stay in balance with the seasons. Loosely translated as “the science of life,” Ayurveda is an ancient body of wisdom birthed in India over 5,000 years ago. It is a time tested understanding of how the patterns of nature relate to our bodies, our diets, & our lifestyles. Foundational to Ayurveda is the concept of the elements and the ways they manifest & shift within the individual and throughout the seasons. Winter, the season of slowness & silence, represents the Earth & Air elements and the Kapha & Vata doshas.
The qualities or characteristics of winter can be described as
dry, cold, dark, heavy, dense, wet, & descending.
These qualities of winter translate in both subtle and palpable ways in the body. You may notice your skin becoming dryer, hands and feet becoming colder, or find the need to bundle up, stay at home, and slow down. As our bodies prepare for winter & undergo lots of transformation, one of the most effective & important ways to stay balanced is to choose a diet suited for this time of year.
To bring balance to the body in winter, Ayurveda advises eating foods that are warming, grounding, heavy, & moistening.
This includes the quintessentially nourishing roasted root vegetables, warm broths, spices, & healthy fats like ghee. Winter is considered the time when our digestive fire is most concentrated because the heat of the world centers down in our bellies instead of around us. For this reason, our digestive systems can handle & benefit from heavier foods that help us build & nurture. Combining these heavier grounding foods with spices & warming elements promotes proper digestion, helps assimilate nutrients, and supports healthy elimination. Blending nourishment with warming spices is at the heart of our Gingerbread Honey Ghee.
Made with the intention of balancing the body with each blissful spoon, this seasonal ghee gift is a well blended winter jar of warmth. We start off making our ghee the traditional Ayurvedic way using cultured grass-fed butter from Banner Butter & alchemizing it slowly till it basically turns to liquid gold. (Seriously though, that is the common nickname of ghee in India). The aroma of caramelized ghee fills the air as we stir in warming spices like organic cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, & a touch of raw Appalachian honey. It is our "cinnamon, spice, & everything nice" blend, the one we reach for over and over this season. We have been melting like butter over all the recipes & ways we weave it into our diet. A spoonful whipped into chai, melted into oatmeal, used in pies, breads, cookies, hot chocolates…. the list can go on and on… and we love that it is as delectable as it is healthful, promoting circulation, digestion, blood sugar balance, & cozy feelings by the spoonful.
We at Goddess Ghee believe in the healing power of food medicines. We know that each bite is an opportunity to nourish the body & feed the soul, a pleasure of the world that brings us into deep states of bliss & balance. From the hearth of our homes to yours, here are some of our most cherished winter recipes:
Kearsley’s Winter Oats
This recipe makes a warming breakfast that is simple & fast to make- great for those mornings you’re preparing for work or preparing to snuggle up & finish that great book. *Substitute 1 cup of amaranth or buckwheat for other warming grain options *
Ingredients: (serves 1-2)
2 cups oats, rolled or steel cut
Enough milk of choice to cover oats + 1 inch (raw cow milk, flax, hemp, oat mylk..)
walnuts/ black walnuts, preferably soaked
1 tsp each of Cinnamon & cardamom + & a pinch of saffron if you have it
3-5 Pitted dates or prunes, sliced
1-2 tbs Gingerbread Honey Ghee
pinch of salt
The night before, cover oats with milk of choice. Let sit overnight
In morning, add spices & dates/prunes to oatmeal & follow cooking instructions for oats. Add milk or water as needed
Remove from stovetop & add 1-2 tbs of Gingerbread Honey Ghee, pour a dash of cream of milk on top, add a pinch of salt & more spices on top, & enjoy!
Other ideas to try out:
Add 1-2 spoonfuls into any tea/coffee/cocoa for a creamy cup of yum
use as 1:1 substitute for butter/oil in all baking recipes --perfect for Gingerbread cookies & pumpkin bread
🍪 Marion’s Molasses Cookies (Gluten-free & Grain-free) 🍪
Pre-heat oven 350f.
Grind up dry ingredients into a powder/flour in a high powered blender or a food processor.
1.5 cups raw almonds
2 T coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Add wet ingredients and blend up until it’s a smooth batter.
1/4 c. Goddess Ghee or Gingerbread Honey Ghee
3 T molasses
2 tsp. vanilla and/or almond extract
Add a handful of chocolate chips or cacao nibs.
Bake 10-14 minutes on the top rack of the oven or until their aroma starts to fill the house. I like to remove them before they’re totally done so that they’re chewy after they cool.
Written by our very own Kitchen Manager, Kearsley Tate Schweller
Kearsley “Mama Bear” Schweller is a self identified Kitchen Witch and core member of Goddess Ghee. She spent time in India studying Ayurveda & continues to pursue her passions in food medicine, womxns wellness, & intuitive expression here in Asheville, NC. She is the founder & creatrix of Bearfoot Balance, a holistic health platform where she shares workshops, talks, & information centered around the harmonious & cyclical rhythms of nature. Find more of her work on her instagram @mamabearmedicine.